I am a writer and educator, focusing on human rights, memories, and culture. I live in New York, and I'm a first-generation Bengali immigrant from India. Thank you for taking interest in my blog. I can tell you one thing: all I say is simple say coming straight from my heart. They are raw and real. Share your stories too.
সবচাইতে বড় চ্যালেঞ্জ এখন হলো, মানুষকে কীভাবে বোঝানো যাবে যে পড়াশোনা, চিন্তাভাবনা, বিশ্লেষণ করার, প্রশ্ন করার অসম্ভব বেশি দরকার হয়ে পড়েছে। এবং তার দুটো অংশ।
(১) কীভাবে সেই বোঝানোটা যাবে — কী ভাষায়, অর্থাৎ, কতটা সহজবোধ্য করে? এই কাজটা আমি বহুকাল ধরে একটু রপ্ত করেছি বাংলা আর ইংরিজি ভাষায়। অনেক রেসপন্স পেয়েছি, এবং পাচ্ছি।
(২) কোন কোন বিষয়ে কথা বললে মানুষ সাড়া দেবে, এবং কোন কোন বিষয়ে কথা বললে তারা আরো বেশি গুটিয়ে যাবে? অর্থাৎ, সোজাসুজি পলিটিক্সের কথা শুরু করলে বেশির ভাগ মানুষ বোধহয় আজকাল ভয় পেয়ে যাবে, বা চুপ করে যাবে। কিন্তু ক্রিকেট, পুজোর বাজার, বলিউড, বা এখন ধরুণ এই নিউ ইয়ার্স ডে পার্টি, ফান — এসব নিয়ে কথা বললে, ছবি পোস্ট করলে প্রচুর লাইক পাওয়া যাবে — সোশ্যাল মিডিয়াতে, এবং বাস্তব জীবনে।
আচ্ছা। গুড। এখন সেই লোকগুলোকে (লোক বলতে আমি পুরুষ ও মহিলা সবাইকেই বোঝাচ্ছি) যদি মাঝে মাঝে একটু রাজনীতি, অর্থনীতির কথা, পকেটের কথা, পলিউশন বা স্বাস্থ্য সংকটের কথা, বা ধরুণ ম্যাকডোনাল্ড, কোক, কে এফ সি জাতীয় বিষাক্ত খাবার ও পানীয়ের কথা, প্লাস্টিক ব্যবহারের কথা, বা ধরা যাক মেডিকেল, এডুকেশন, তেল বা গ্যাসের খরচ, গাড়িভাড়া, ট্রেনভাড়া, নানারকমের জোর করে চাপিয়ে দেওয়া ট্যাক্স — এসব নিয়ে একটু কথা বলা যায়? কতজন সাড়া দেবে, এবং কীভাবে দেবে?
শাসক শ্রেণী চায়, এসব বিষয় নিয়ে যেন বেশি কথাবার্তা লোকে না বলে, এবং সবাই যেন ওই পার্টি, ফান, বলিউড, ক্রিকেট, বা এখন হয়েছে পর্ণোগ্রাফি — এসব নিয়েই ডুবে থাকে।
এই হলো ইয়ং জেনারেশন এবং শহরের লোকেদের জন্যে দাওয়াই। দাওয়াই নয়, ড্রাগ। এল এস ডি, বা মেট জাতীয় ভয়ঙ্কর ড্রাগের থেকেও বেশি শক্তিশালী তাদের ঘুম পাড়িয়ে দেওয়া, ঘুম পাড়িয়ে রাখার ক্ষমতা। ইল্যুশন, মায়া, মোহের মধ্যে জীবন কাটানোর স্বপ্ন। যে স্বপ্নের সঙ্গে বাস্তবের কোনো সম্পর্ক নেই।
আর গ্রামের লোকেদের জন্যে, বা ওল্ডার জেনারেশনের জন্যে অন্য ড্রাগ। ধর্মান্ধতা, নারীবিরোধিতা, মুসলমানবিরোধিতা (বা মুসলমানপ্রধান দেশে হিন্দু-বিরোধিতা), আমেরিকায় ও ভারতে ইমিগ্রেন্ট-বিরোধিতা, এইসব। নিম্নবর্ণের জাতি বা বর্ণ বিরোধিতা — ভারতে দলিত বা অচ্ছ্যুতদের ঘৃণা, এবং আমেরিকায় ব্ল্যাক ও নথিহীন গরিব ইমিগ্রেন্টদের ঘৃণা। একই ব্যাপার।
Then comes the task of controlling the so-called “populist” base: the angry, frightened, disillusioned white population, primarily males. Since there is no way for Trumpism to deal with their economic concerns, which are actually being exacerbated by current policy-formation, it’s necessary to posture heroically as “standing up” for them against “malevolent forces” and to cater to the anti-social impulses that tend to surface when people are left to face difficult circumstances alone, without institutions and organizations to support them in their struggles.
Noam Chomsky, Truthout, June 20, 2018
We all knew elite liberals with their long, cruel detachment from us the ordinary people and our sufferings, along with their fake promises and unthinkable corruption would bring on extreme racism, politics of hate and bigotry, and eventually fascism. We see it now in Trump, and his brand of Republicans.
আমেরিকায় যারা দীর্ঘদিন থাকেনি, তাঁরা দেশে বসে বুঝতে পারেন না এদেশের আসল জীবনটা ঠিক কেমন। তাঁদের কাছে আমেরিকা এখনো সোনার দেশ। যাকে এদেশের ভাষায় বলে, “দা স্ট্রিটস আর পেভ্ড ইন গোল্ড।” বহুকাল আগে থেকে চলে আসা কতগুলো শব্দ, কতগুলো বর্ণনা — যা আমাদের কাছে স্বপ্নের মত ছিল, তা এখন ঠিক কেমন, সেটা এখানে জীবন না কাটালে ঠিক বোঝানো যায়না। বিশেষ করে মার্কিন মুভি, মিডিয়া এবং তাদের দোসর আমাদের দেশের মিডিয়া, টিভি ও কাগজপত্রের কল্যাণে এদেশ সম্পর্কে এমন একটা মায়াজাল সৃষ্টি করা হয়েছে, যার অন্য দিকটা সম্পর্কে কেউ জানেনা। Link at https://aparjan.com/2019/01/10/january2019-pabaes/?fbclid=IwAR21sTVpxUEgOgrni6Y-JYwFHatCGWp9D_d91SvJ2XeKS21-wTEVPOzl3-o
Let’s have some fact checking on the “Illegal vs Legal” Immigration debate. That is, let those of us who want to check facts, and not go by hearsay and propaganda.
Today, this is one of the most important debates: hate, bigotry and divisive politics are destroying mankind, and any concept of peace, harmony, tolerance, and coexistence. And because “mainstream” corporate media is not telling us the truth, and anti-immigrant far right media everywhere is spreading lies and half truths, we might as well check out the facts ourselves.
Trump is using his white supremacist, racist violent politics against immigrants, shutting down the country on his rhetoric on the wall. Many Americans — quite a few of them ordinary, peaceful but otherwise misinformed men and women — are falling for it.
Here’s some quick points on the immigration debate — for those who care to read and think.
(1) Immigration does not happen overnight, or in a vacuum. Nobody wants to leave their country unless they are desperate. I wouldn’t have left India to come to America, had I not been desperate.
(2) Find out what our ruling class has done in Mexico and across the world to drive this exodus from Mexico. Check out what Clinton’s NAFTA did to destroy Mexico’s economy. Find out what U.S. powers have done to Latin American countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras. Find out what happened to Bangladesh and Chile in 1971. Or, the Philippines. There are many other such examples. (Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpHxGhMIYFA)
(3) Illegal or paperless immigrants do not fit in one box. For example there are 185 different types of visa to enter and remain in USA, and countless people are trying for 10, 20 or 30 years to get papers. Their children were born and grew up here. They are still trying desperately to get their papers. Legally. A large majority of them are trying hard for many years with the help from lawyers. (Reference: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Visa_policy_of_the_United_States)
(7) About the history of immigration in America (in case anybody is interested to know history), check out this short video. Quickly, you’ll find out how “illegal” most of American ancestors were with no English speaking abilities.
White America and Europe were largely built on genocide, war, violence, slavery, and racism. Anti-Irish hate. Anti-Italian bigotry. Anti-Chinese, anti-Japanese racism. Not too long ago, there even had publicly posted signs such as “No Dogs or Irish or blacks Allowed.” Check it out. (See picture)
Let alone signs such as “Whites Only. No Spanish or Mexican.” (See picture)
Look, you’re not reading or learning: you are just falling for the traps the 1 percent created for you, to keep us divided and hateful. It serves their purpose, and not yours or mine. What is the difference between what your ancestors faced and what these immigrants are facing now?
The vast country of America is falling apart, and just like India, hate, bigotry and violence have taken over.
Yesterday (December 27), a huge explosion of some sort at New York City’s Con Edison Astoria power plant turned the night sky blue. It was frightening.
It was so big that idiots thought it was an alien invasion, and smart people nicknamed it Astoria Borealis (after Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights).
But big media downplayed it. You could not find much discussion on this massive fire. This is how corporations work together: save each other’s back, leaving the ordinary people in dark. They call it democracy and free speech. There is no accountability.
Big media and big politicians hushed it up, period. They have time for everything trivial, but no time for such a serious matter. Their trick is, if you keep these things out of public attention, they eventually go away, especially today when nobody cares to know.
I have often called it Journalism of Exclusion.
Nobody will ever know why and how this explosion happened. There will be no serious investigation. And yes, pollution. Unbelievable pollution, if not radiation. How much chemicals, and of what type, got released in New York’s neighborhoods?
Truly reminds me of the suppression of truth after 9/11, when the rulers declared everything was okay. And now people who went through the dust of poison are suffering. Some have died.
(And a reminder: 1800 electrical union workers are on the street for two years, in a place called New York, where the governor, mayor, and almost all city council members are Democrats. That news is not on big media either.)
A “Happy” 2019 to all. We shall come back with a major restructuring of this blog, shaping it as an honest, pro-people platform for news, discussion, and analysis.
Stay with us. We need you on this crucial, critical mission to educate with truth and humanity, and fight back against corruption, lies, and politics of brutal power, violence, profit, bigotry, and hate.
(1) First, you destroy their lands by armed invasion, bribery, colonizing, looting, deforesting, raping, murdering, spreading diseases, enslaving, and lynching, and that too, all in the name of God.
(2) You turn rich, prosperous, peaceful countries into poor, hopeless, hateful countries, with people begging for mercy. And they beg at your doorsteps — for food, jobs, and shelter.
(3) Then you turn your guns again on them. Build walls to stop them, and erect cages to imprison their children.
(4) And your own people who prospered through centuries from their blood, sweat, and tears, and looting their farms, nature and environment — call them criminals, and support your acts in the name of law.
(5) Then, they thank their God for being so generous and forgiving, and go to sleep peacefully.
Western media and establishment academia have excluded the unbelievably enormous contribution of Old World science, arts, religion, culture, history and values from peoples’ awareness. It’s time we brought them back to attention.
Do I exist? Do I matter? — No, this is not a philosophical, abstract question.
Western media, Western politicians, and Western academics have done their best to exclude contributions of Old World scientists, artists, authors, philosophers, poets, and thinkers. As if we never existed. As if we are not even worthy of a mention, discussing history of human civilization.
Everybody is so brainwashed to believe that civilization began with the rise of British empire, or Columbus’ conquest of America. And those two events were two of the darkest chapters in human history in the first place!
I mean, everybody knows about Einstein, Marx, Freud, Darwin, or Euclid, Newton, Galileo, Archimedes, Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Renoir, or Cezanne. And they were all geniuses, of course. Yes, they were.
But have you ever thought who actually invented the so-called “Arabic numerals?” The use of the number zero? Who invented textiles, silk, paper, or for that matter, concept of an alphabet? How in the world could someone invent the game of chess — with its unbelievably complex algorithms — unless advanced mathematics had already been in practice?
Okay, was astronomy a developed science in ancient India, China, or Egypt? What about Ayurveda that emphasized proactive health instead of profit-based reactive medicine? Or, yoga building immunity and contributing to long life?
Who first conceptualized musical scores, with the use of the seven fundamental notes? I’m not even talking about the hundreds of ragas and talas.
Okay, have your ever thought of the science, engineering, and art — all three of them — used while some “primitive” people built the carved temples of Ellora — cut from a single mountain rock, or the pyramids of Giza, the massive Chinese Wall, sacrificial tomb in Peru, or the colossal temples in Angkor Wat?
Even more recently, in the 19th century, British and Western colonial powers denied world recognition to two Indian scientists — J. C. Bose for inventing the radio, and S. N. Bose for his work in theoretical physics that became known as the Bose-Einstein statistics. Heard of these two Bose’s?
We don’t know, and we don’t care to know, either.
A major, massive brainwashing by Western media and powers made us believe that outside of the American and British-European history, there is no other history. People like me — my history, my heritage, my forefathers — never mattered.
But oh yes, you destroyed my country, stole our natural resources, forests, mines, you looted our gold and diamond and cotton, killed and tortured and raped us, and in just two hundred years, turned us from one of the richest lands on earth to one of the poorest.
And now here I am, begging at your doors for some prosperity and freedom. I am at your mercy.
Tomorrow, November 6, is an election here in America that could change the course of human history. We can find ourselves thrown back in another dark era of fascism, global war, hate, violence, and terrifying repression Hitler style.
We could see all the pro-people gains American people have made since FDR going down the drain, forever. Right to health care, right to education, right to a livable wage, right to a clean environment, right to organize, and gender and race equality would be unachievable dreams — in our lifetime. Fascists and their corporations will destroy it all.
Or, we can see light at the end of the tunnel. It’s that critically important.
If Trump and his unleashed white supremacist forces win, it could well be the last democratic election we see in USA. And that would create massive ripple effect across the world, bolstering fascist and supremacist forces.
That is my prediction, based on my many years of political activism and teaching.
Unfortunately, I have also predicted that there will be some Democratic victories, but not a landslide to capture both the House of Representatives and Senate, without which Trump’s aspiration for a virtual dictatorship would not be nipped in the bud.
Only way we can stop this absolute horror is if young generation, enlightened American men and women — such as the ones who formed recent, major alliances such as #NeverAgain, #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo, LGBT and environmental groups, as well as young labor union workers come forward, and flood the voting booths.
A large number of young, bright, forward-looking canididates have put together a great show of solidarity across the U.S. — against formidable, corporate-funded, heavyweight career politicians. I do hope you elect these young leaders.
I have no power other than my words circulated through social media. I urge you to come out to vote tomorrow, and ask people you know to vote.
We are about to see history unfolding.
A believer of non-violent, democratic social revolution,
Next week, America will decide whether or not this country will go down on a permanent path to fascism, violence, and white supremacy.
Just before Donald Trump became the president in November 2016, I had written in a leading Indian daily newspaper, predicting a Hillary Clinton win. I was wrong. I was influenced by New York Times, CNN, Washington Post, and such enormous media, and their relentless forecasts.
When I look back on it, I see a glaring lack of communication with the commoners. Conversations at restaurants, pubs and labor unions actually brimmed with an overwhelming support for Trump. The picture remains the same as the November election approaches. More or less.
I live in New York, which is supposed be a fort for liberals and Democrats. If this is the scenario here, we can imagine the picture elsewhere. I have often pondered over the question as to how union workers could support Trump and his cronies who want to destroy unions in the first place. It’s beyond me!
On November 6, Americans will vote for the Congress. They will elect 435 House representatives and thirty-five senators. The Democrats at present are minority in both chambers of Congress. And, they hope win the election by a substantial margin, capture the Congress, and thereby impeach Trump for his numerous heinous and illegal acts — the Nixon and Watergate way.
My gut feeling is that Democrats might win the election by a few seats. But it won’t be enough for a substantial majority. There will be no Democratic landslide at all.
Fascism and dictatorship are getting a lot of steam in America of late — like they are getting it in countries like India, Russia, and Brazil. Here in USA, it’s become ugly and horrendous. Just a few days ago, a white supremacist shot dead eleven innocent Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue. Another white supremacist killed two innocent black people in a Kentucky supermarket. Another such person targeted anti-Trump Democratic leaders like Hillary and Obama by mailing pipe bombs: his truck sported Trump stickers all over.
Regular attacks on journalists have become a part and parcel of life now. Trump separated immigrant children from their parents, and put them in cages. Just two days ago, he declared he would abolish birthright citizenship — a U.S. constitutional mainstay for over a century. Fascists are trying to scrap the legal framework altogether — everywhere.
Yet, protests are on. Problem is, apart from Bernie Sanders, no leader in the Democratic Party is capable of bringing everybody together. Sanders, however, isn’t supported by Bill and Hillary Clinton-dictated mainstream Democrats. New York Times and CNN don’t want him to get mass support either. We have seen how they have destroyed the Sanders campaign in 2016.
Given the scenario, I doubt whether there will at all be a strong surge of of educated and liberal Americans on the ballot box next Tuesday.
Yet, I am hoping against hope that people of America will prove me wrong again. I want my so-called prophecy to fail.
Written by: Partha Banerjee, Brooklyn, New York
Translated by: Samya Brata Roy, Calcutta, India
The bomb suspect’s van was plastered with Trump stickers.
FBI got this man Cesar Sayoc for his suspected role in the bomb plot across the U.S. According to FBI, Cesar mailed explosives to a number of Democratic leaders including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as well as media.
Trump admitted his Republican Party is in trouble because of this scandal — contrary to what his far right politicians, think tanks, and media tried to cook up. Far right wanted to portray it as a left wing conspiracy just on the eve of November elections.
But who is responsible for such unprecedented violence and hate?
A large caravan of migrants — men, women, and children — are traveling from Honduras through Mexico, to reach the U.S. borders. Trump sent border security forces to control the massive migration.
White supremacist and neo-Nazi groups are openly throwing violent threats.
Unbelievable as they may sound, this is all happening right in front of our eyes, here in America. A nation of millions of peace-loving, sane, hard working people — of all races, colors, religions and lifestyles — is turning upside down.
I have lived in the U.S. for thirty three years, first as a foreign student with little knowledge about the country, and then as an activist, educator, writer and political analyst for nearly twenty five years — with lots of knowledge and insight about America.
I have never seen such a massive turmoil. The country is truly falling apart.
Donald Trump, president of the United States of America, has very quickly destroyed the social, economic, and political fabric of this country. Through his 24/7 hateful, anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti-poor violent lies and rhetoric, he has encouraged the forces of bigotry, racism and misogyny, and turned them loose.
He has encouraged those evil forces all over the world, including India. He has energized them. Hate groups have rapidly increased in number, in just a couple of years.
This man who sent explosives to Democratic politicians and media organizations is the newest, scariest result of this homegrown terrorism.
I hope and pray that the America I have known in my three decades here — the sane, educated, open-minded American people who believe in inclusion, fraternity, diversity, tolerance and peace — wakes up, and stops this homegrown terror.
God help us understand the gravity of the situation, and act upon it.